Here’s an interesting measure of the bureaucratic influence of Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to two State Department sources, about two weeks ago, Holbrooke installed his deputy, Paul Jones, the former deputy chief of mission in the Philippines, as the deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia. Jones will be dual-hatted, still reporting to Holbrooke, but also to Assistant Secretary Richard Boucher.
Yesterday Laura Rozen at Foreign Policy reported that Robert Blake, the ambassador to Sri Lanka, is on track to replace Boucher as assistant secretary. My sources back up Laura’s reporting, and add that Jones will remain the deputy assistant secretary after Boucher departs.
More on Holbrooke’s role at State later.
Crossposted to The Streak.